Contemporary Cuban Art: History, Identity, and Materiality
Cuba has a diverse culture and complex history that is both fascinating and often misunderstood. Paradox, dark humor, beauty, sadness, and vulnerability connect the works on view in the exhibition Contemporary Cuban Art. Guest Curator Jill Hartz has conceptualized this exhibition through the lenses of history, identity, and materiality as a structure to draw visitors into their own paths of discovery of contemporary Cuban art. Most of the Cuban artists, whose artworks are featured in the exhibition, have benefited from a free education and meticulous training from a young age. Their extensive knowledge of Western art history and their honing of practice and technique have provided strong foundations for their individual visions and expression.
Félix González-Torres: “Untitled” (L.A.)
Félix González-Torres was known for his minimalist, often conceptual, installations and sculptures that assembled quantities of a common object, such as a string of lights, stack of paper, or individually wrapped candy, to convey complex meaning and encourage audience participation. Through the manner of displaying the artwork, along with the process of the viewer’s participation, each work became a metaphor for loss and healing, as seen in light bulbs that expire and are replaced, or as papers or candies are taken by visitors and replenished by the art museum. This cycle of depletion and renewal over time is key to the visitor’s experience with, and understanding of, González-Torres’s creative practice.